Noah Syndergaard will start on Tuesday night, but that start won’t come at Citi Field. Instead, the pitcher the Mets could’ve opted for to fill Jacob deGrom‘s spot in the rotation will pitch as a member of Triple-A Las Vegas in a road game in Iowa. And that’s fine.
What wouldn’t be fine, is if the Mets fail to promote Syndergaard to the majors before the conclusion of the season.
In a report on Monday, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York noted that the Mets have not yet determined whether or not to call Syndergaard up this year. The reason, according to Rubin, is that the Mets might want Syndergaard to pitch for Las Vegas in the Triple-A Playoffs.
By the time the Triple-A Playoffs end, Syndergaard (if he participates) would be near or at his likely 2014 innings limit of roughly 150.
This comes down to one question: would it be better for Syndergaard and the Mets for him to get exposure at the major league level and for the Mets to evaluate him, or would it be better for Syndergaard and the Mets for him to continue to pitch in the PCL through the end of the Playoffs?
There will be some who suggest Syndergaard pitching in the PCL Playoffs over the majors is the way to go, but I’m not one of them.
Syndergaard has been pitching well of late and said recently that he might not be quite ready to make the jump to the majors, but was confident he’d be able to handle it if he got the call. The Mets were split on whether or not Syndergaard was ready, but this is really a start-to-start thing.
While Syndergaard’s Triple-A ERA is 4.79 (just a tick above the PCL average), his FIP is 3.86 – indicating that he’s been quite unlucky. Syndergaard’s peripherals are great, and his stuff is there.
As was the case with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, the Mets want Syndergaard to stay up for good once he’s promoted – something that may not have been the case if he was chosen to fill in for Jacob deGrom.
However, in the next few weeks, the Mets need to come up with a course of action that gets Syndergaard up to the Mets for good.
Perhaps Jacob deGrom is kept out longer out of an abundance of caution and Syndergaard replaces Rafael Montero. Maybe the Mets find a taker for Bartolo Colon and a spot in the rotation opens up. There’s also a chance that Jon Niese will find himself back on the disabled list.
Either way, Syndergaard should be given the chance to get acclimated to the majors this season.
2015 shouldn’t be an evaluation year for Syndergaard in the majors, it should be a year where he comes back to a familiar place.